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Rafa Down, But Not Out

London, England

Nadal© Getty ImagesRafael Nadal collides with the net after slipping over against Radek Stepanek.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal quite literally slipped up in the second set of his 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 win over Radek Stepanek on Thursday evening at the AEGON Championships.

After losing serve at 5-3, Nadal’s pride (and rump!) took a further bruising as he slipped over onto his backside in the 11th game in attempting to chase down a devilish drop shot from Stepanek. You can't put it better than the BBC live text commentary did here:

“Remarkable. Another break. Bandana-clad Rafa slide-tackles the net (like his Uncle Miguel used to for Barcelona) as he recovers a sumptuous Radek drop shot from the zaniest of angles. Stepanek wins the point, though, before picking up his prone opponent.”

Happily for Nadal fans, with Pippa Middleton and Princess Beatrice among those watching on, the Mallorcan was helped to his feet by the concerned Stepanek and, despite losing the second set, recovered to stroll to victory in a comfortable third set.

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